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Ski School Habeler Mayrhofen

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Am 24. September 2018 auf SERVUS TV

 Zum 175-jährigen Jubiläum der österreichischen Erstbesteigung des iranischen Damavands (5.671m) erklimmen Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner und Peter Habeler den höchsten Berg des Orients.


1843 bestieg der österreichische Botaniker Theodor Kotschy den 5.671 Meter hohen Damavand im Elburs-Gebirge. Der erloschene Vulkan ist der höchste Berg des Irans. 175 Jahre danach will ein in Wien forschender iranischer Botaniker in Theodor Kotschys Fußstapfen treten. Um die Mission zum Erfolg zu machen, bekommt Jalil Noorozi zwei der besten Alpinisten der Welt als Bergführer zur Seite gestellt: Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner und Peter Habeler.
Für Peter ist der Iran kein Neuland. Bereits in den 1960er-Jahren hat der Zillertaler dort ein halbes Jahr verbracht, um iranische Bergführer auszubilden. Kaum im Iran gelandet, entführt er Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner zu einem Kletterfelsen unweit von Teheran, den er schon im Alter von 24 Jahren erklommen hat.

Peter Habeler and the Eiger North Face at 74

Peter recently climbed the North face of the Eiger via the Heckmair Route once again, at the ripe old age of 74. He was partnered by 26 year old Austrian climber David Lama, who was climbing the route for the first time. Peter first climbed the Heckmair Route in 1974, alongside Italian mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner.
Their ten-hour ascent of the Eiger classic was considered a blistering pace at the time, and remained a roped-team record for 30 years.

(you can find Peters Diary entries from 1974 here)

Peter Habeler and David Lama

How did the Eiger climb come about? Why the Eiger North face, and why David Lama - had you climbed with him before?
David Lama came along to my children's climbing course as a 5 year old, I immediately saw his "awesome" climbing talent and he went on to become one of the world's best climbers. We had kept in touch since, but were never together in the mountains - except for the Eiger North face!

How did the ascent compare to your 10 hour ascent of the face in 1974? Were you tempted to go as fast as possible, or were you just enjoying the experience?
In 1974 I climbed the same route with Reinhold Messner and the ascent was made in barely 10 hours (which became a 30-year record for a two-man team!) In light of my upcoming 75th birthday, a documentary about me is in production, so David and I returned to the Eiger together as part of the film.
The wall was heavily iced and much more difficult than in 1974; it was in full winter condition. With David, we had one bivi, and the climb was filmed with two helicopters. We had to co-ordinate with the cameramen at the tricky bits, such as the Hinterstoisser Traverse, the Ramp and the Traverse of the Gods, where the cameraman was flown directly onto the wall. On multiple occasions, David and I had to wait until the camera was ready…

Peter Habeler at the Eiger North Face - climing the White Spider

Peter Habeler on the White Spider, Eiger North Face

What was David like to climb with?
It was great to do this route with David, he is an outstanding climber and an amiable climbing companion. He had super rope management, super safety knowledge - it was a great pleasure to climb with him on the Nordwand.

What are your strongest memories of your 1974 ascent of the Eiger North face?
In 1974 when I was with Reinhold on the Eiger, in glorious weather and with dry rock, the best thing about it was that we knew Clint Eastwood was watching all day from the Hotel Eigergletscher, which was an additional motivation for us. After returning from the summit we invited Clint to dinner.

Tell us about your training - what you did at your peak in your youth and what you do now?
My training has always been on rock, doing ski tours, nothing too specific - but I was always a strict coach, of course!

Have you struggled with injuries as you've got older?
No, I've never had any major injuries. I am very lucky.

Peter Habeler at the Hinterstoisser Traverse - Eiger North Face

Peter Habeler on the Hinterstoisser Traverse

Was the Eiger a one-off or are you doing comparable Alpinism regularly? How are you doing on rock climbs - improvement, decline, holding his own?
The Eiger was of course a big objective, but I am still climbing a lot in general and manage the classic routes well. I can still climb up to the UIAA VIII grade/French 7a. No, my level can no longer improve, but I try to keep it as good as possible.

Do you still see/climb with Reinhold?
I still meet with Reinhold, but he does not climb anymore.

Peter Habeler, Mayrhofen im Zillertal mit Reinhold Messner

Peter Habeler and Reinhold Messner

Do you have any other ideas for repeating past climbs or mountains... like repeating Salathe Wall, for instance, which you did with Doug Scott in 1970?
No, the Salathe would probably be too difficult now - maybe I would have to try it with a young, strong climber like David!

What do you think of the direction that top-end modern alpinism is heading in? Light and fast, without fixed ropes and camps - this a style that you helped to develop.
Reinhold and I initiated the fast and light style: on the Eiger we had only one rope, five pitons and five ice screws and no proper food, just raisins and nuts. There is enough water on the wall. As for the direction in which younger climbers are leading alpinism today, we were already climbing fast and light on Hidden Peak (8068m) in 1975; moving quickly as a two-man team!

Tell us about your work - are you still guiding and instructing?
My son now leads my ski school - Skischule Habeler - in Mayrhofen, Austria, and is doing a great job of it. I take part in many tours and treks in the Himalaya, and above all I prefer now just to quietly get on with my climbing. My two sons are not alpinists, but they are very sporty (they ski), but do not climb.

Peter Habeler in Italy - Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Peter in front of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Italy

With alpinism becoming more popular, do you think people of all levels still respect mountains and mountaineering ethics, or is it just about 'the summit'?
Yes, it's true, alpinism is strongly promoted - in Europe at least - and there are many families who go with their children into the mountains. Young people are also happy to go along on ski tours, for example and bouldering is becoming more and more popular; the climbing walls in the cities are booming.
There are still very many enthusiastic mountain walkers and mountaineers, who not only go to the mountains because of the desire to summit, but simply to enjoy nature's beauty and be in the mountains. Those who are only focused on the summit, we also respect - although they miss out on a lot and experience only 50% of the mountain...

What do you think of climbing's inclusion in the 2020 Olympics? Is this something you could have imagined/is it something you agree with?
I think this is a good thing, exercise is simply the BEST; what you choose to do and how you do it is not so important.

Peter Habeler Climbing in Italy - Arco

Peter training in Arco, Italy

What advice would you give to older climbers who want to keep climbing?
Well, 'young climbers', I would say! Go out and DO it - this was how the great US mountaineer, Yvon Chouinard, responded to the same question. I still do this today and I hope to do so for many more years!

Natalie Berry from ukclimbing.com made this interview with Peter about his repetition of the Eiger North Face in May 2017.

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Peter Habeler @ the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival

Extract from the Program:

Growing up in Mayrhofen, Austria, Peter Habeler was naturally drawn to the mountains, and his passion for extreme climbing was sparked at an early age. By 16, he had conquered the most difficult rock and ice routes near his home, and at 21, he was a fully certified mountain guide.
In the mid-1960s, Habeler forged a climbing partnership with Reinhold Messner that would make them the founding fathers of lightweight, alpine-style climbing. Using the latest technical equipment, the duo set the standard for fast and light ascents on difficult routes, setting speed records on the Eiger North Face and the Nordwand on the Matterhorn. With each successful climb came the motivation to push the limits further, and in 1978 they achieved what was then believed to be impossible - the first ascent of Mount Everest without the aid of supplemental oxygen.

It`s already a while since Ed Douglas made this Interview.
But still interesting to hear Peters beliefs and views.

Thank`s to Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity


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Die Eiger-Nordwand

Dieser Begriff ist ein fester Bestandteil der Allgemeinbildung geworden.
Sogar jeder Nicht-Bergsteiger kennt sie und weiß um die bergsteigerische Herausforderung.

Mittlerweile erleichtert die moderne Ausrüstung das Klettern in Fels und Eis.
Aber die Eiger-Nordwand ist und bleibt ein Markstein für Alpinisten und eine Art Elite-Zertifikat für all jene, die sie erfolgreich durchstiegen haben.

Beschreibung der Nordwand (Heckmair Route)

  • 1800 m Höhe
  • Kletterdistanz ca. 4 km
  • Fels bis V+
  • Eisfelder 50-55 Grad
  • Fels meist ungünstig geschichtet und stellenweise brüchig
  • Große Gefahr durch Steinschlag und Lawinen
  • Wetter: überraschende, heftige Wetterstürze
  • Zeitangaben: für Konditionsstarke 20 Stunden (es muss aber mit einer Übernachtung im Biwak gerechnet werden)

1974 - Rekord in der Nordwand von Peter Habeler und Reinhold Messner

Bereits 1974 hat sich die Seilschaft Peter Habeler und Reinhold Messner die Nordwand vorgenommen und bemerkenswertes geschafft: eine Blitzbesteigung der Heckmair-Route in 10 Stunden. Ein Rekord der 30 Jahre lang gehalten hat.

Peter´s Tourenbuch

Wie Peter diese Besteigung erlebt hat? Hier die Einblicke in das Tourenbuch des Zillertalers.


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Ski School Habeler : What sets us apart


We value your time. Your Winter holidays. We want you to enjoy it to the maximum and we are
happy to be part of it.


We are not good at everything.
But with Private Lessons for one person or small groups - allow us to say - we are outstanding.


We leave it to others to offer obsolete school programs. Same of the Same. That is nothing for us. We like to think ski school NEW.


No one likes to be caught in traffic. Moving against the crowd will give you an advantage during your tuition time.

We focus on HIGH QUALITY

It`s all about quality @ Ski School Habeler. We specialize in providing excellent one-to-one instruction and going that extra mile for our clients.

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6290 Mayrhofen

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